My Evil Dead: Part 1

The year was 1981, and a small movie by the name of Evil Dead was unleashed to the public. Did I see it on release day? Of course not! I was only 1-year old at the time! Fast forward to about five years later and the year was 1986 when I was 5¾ years old. It was June 10th, my older brother’s seventh birthday “bash.” My parents, trying to ease the anticipations of a horde of seven and eight-year-olds eager to uncover what presents lay hidden underneath a layer of decorative wrapping, they suggested we watch a movie to keep us at bay. (more…)

My First French Kiss

Girls were the last thing on my mind when I was younger. I was into cool stuff like Star Wars, comic books, horror movies, sports, etc. Come to think of it, these are still things I love today! Girls weren’t even on the spectrum, let alone my radar. What once was geeky is now considered “cool” and staples of pop culture. Sure, in my adolescence some girls had crushes on me, and I was not oblivious to this by any stretch of the imagination. I was just too much of a chicken-shit to do anything about it. What can I say? Girls terrified me! (more…)

The Stephen King Effect

I’ve become somewhat obsessed with reading the works of Stephen King. There, I said it. I’ve had a few books penned by the horror maestro on my shelf for a few years having read a handful of them: On Writing, Joyland, and Night Shift –  OK, co maybe less than a handful (don’t judge)! The photo above represents my Stephen King collection consisted of as of a few months ago (two).

I want to start reading most, if not, all of Stephen King’s books. And so, I did what any “normal” human being would do and started an instant mini-King home library. Since my “craze” began, I’ve since finished three of his books: IT, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and The Shining(more…)

The Girl Who Loved The Shining

My Stephen King romp continues as I finished up The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and Kubrick’s King’s novel, The Shining. I kid, I kid! Still, film buffs and horror aficionados alike could not help but associate the King novel to the Stanley Kubrick 1980 horror classic of the same name.
 
Let me start with The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I didn’t know what to expect from this one. To tell you the truth (because why would I lie), I found a mint hardcover copy of the novel at a thrift shop and made the purchase on a whim and because I had been looking for Stephen King titles. This book was the only title sitting atop of an old dusty bookshelf by its lonesome. And so, it was purchased for a whopping $2.00. I thought I’d jump into some lighter King reading having just finished the “biblical” IT and judging by the book’s “thickness” figured it would be a quick read. And that, it was.

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Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Pre-K?!

My little girl is going to pre-kindergarten, otherwise known as pre-k . I’ll let that sink in for a moment. I’ve had over four years to let it sink in but now I’m really letting it sink in! Oh and, by the way, I’m the one scared of pre-k, not my daughter!
 
Where has the time gone? I remember her crawling, not able to form words, drinking from a baby bottle and the seemingly unending diaper changes. Now, she runs circles around me, has conversations with adults, bakes (with the help of her mother), is semi-independent and headstrong. Is she ready for school? Better yet, am I?
 
Some things I’m afraid of:
 
  • My daughter not being with anyone I trust (at first).
  • My little one being “out there” (the world).
  • Her, not being taken care of while not in our presence.
  • Bullies.
  • Mean girls. (see, bullies)
  • Boys! Oh God, boys!
Yes, this is a reality and we’ve all been there before. I was a kid once and I’m sure my parents went through the same turmoil when my brothers and I were off to school for the first time. We turned out OK… I think. We, at least, lived to tell the tale! 
 
Sure, I’m worried, nervous, anxious, etc. But I’m pretty sure she’ll be alright. Maybe I’m just paranoid and have a ridiculous imagination. Or, maybe I watch too many scary movies. No, I don’t think it’s any of this. I just know what the world is like out there and, frankly, it terrifies me to death. Like the old saying goes when watching a horror movie, keep telling yourself, “It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie.” Only, here, I tell myself, “It’s only school, it’s only school!” School, a safe haven right? Watching the news and the horror stories that revolve around schools I’m not so sure anymore. Ask me in a few months how I’m feeling! This is just pre-school, I can only imagine my nerves when she goes to college!

5 Stages of Fear

Buckle up for the equivalent of a cinematic roller-coaster! Horror fans know the torturous emotions that await, but they keep coming back for more. While plot twists and scare tactics change, the viewer’s horror movie experience usually follows a familiar pattern. Who hasn’t fallen victim to the tranquil opening scene, only to be dragged through blood, guts and a hellish villain for the following two hours? If you’ve sat through a few horror films, you’ll recognize the anticipation, fear and defense mechanisms associated with horror movies. Get your popcorn and relive the stages of watching a great horror movie. Of course, this is, by no means, any definitive list but it’s a good start– I think. (more…)

The Way I See Things…

… may be changing. Soon. I think.

Glasses were never a part of the equation, or so I thought. Nothing is definitive, of course, until I actually make an appointment with an optometrist to decipher whether or not my new moniker would be “four eyes” to which I would respond, “I prefer, Clark Kent!” (without the physique and the superpowers)

I’m not sure whether or not the derogatory term for a person who wears glasses is even still used today, but I suspect that a few old timers out there still coin the phrase now and then, right? (probably not) I’ve noticed that I am starting to have to squint when looking at an oversized dry/erase board while at work and few other objects/words in the distance are (gulp) blurry/fuzzy. I suspect that the ethos is trying to tell me something (more likely it’s my eyes telling me and not some sort of spiritual manifestation).

This  “situation” could not have come at a perfect time; what with my getting back into reading and all! On the flip-side, I’ve been told that I look rather cool with glasses and quite dashing! (I’m looking at you, biased wife). Now, to find an affordable optometrist under my medical plan!

Mission: Accomplished – IT

As mentioned in a previous post (here), because of the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King‘s IT, I had the “itch” to get back into reading more. Specifically, I wanted to dive into the IT, as well as a few other King books. I have been a fan of King’s since I was a kid, not because of his books but, rather, because of his films! I know, I know – most of the novel adaptations do not live up to their literary predecessors but, I was a kid, and anyone deemed the master of horror gets a thumbs up from me all (most) of the time! Besides, can we say that all the adaptations were subpar? What with Salem’s Lot, The Langoliers, Pet Sematary, Carrie, Christine, Firestarter, The Mist, Silver Bullet, Thinner, The Stand and The Shining (although Kubrick certainly took liberties)? I guess the answer to this question can be an astounding, Yes! Except for Joyland, On Writing, and Nightshift, which featured probably my favorite Stephen King shorts, “The Boogyman“, (none of which had feature film adaptations) I can’t say much to the film/TV adaptations compared to the novel/novella. These are the only King books that I’ve read despite the paperback versions of Blaze, Joyland, The Colorado Kid, Salem’s Lot, Night ShiftDifferent Seasons and Pet Sematary sitting on my shelf (or in a box) for years! All that is about to change. (more…)

My Little Cubby Cadet

My new “toy” came in and I was super-stoked. I’ve never owned, let alone, driven a riding mower so I was a bit “nervous” before firing this sucker up. I just didn’t want to break/run over anything! I gave it a spin and mowed the lawn with this baby and I have to say that, although I instantly fell in love, I need to get more accustomed to this thing as my first go at mowing the lawn was just OK. I need to get it to “excellent” and leave my lawn looking top-notch! 

My wife was bummed because, for some reason, she wanted to be witness to this momentous “event”. Likely, she wanted to take some pictures and videos of me riding the mower for a good laugh as she watched my body hop up, down and wiggle while trying to tame the beast like a cowboy riding a wild steer. To her I say, too bad! Although I’m sure the sight would be one to giggle. But, she will get to see me some time before the end of the summer, that’s for sure.  In due time… in due time! Until then, she’s just going to have to wait until the grass grows again.

On Reading…

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to lay back, kick my feet up and relax with a good book/e-reader on my lap. I’ve had the urge to dive back into reading lately but every time I get an iota of time that (sometimes ugly) thing rears its head up and rips the book from the grips of my hands – that “ugly” thing being, LIFE! Sure, maybe if I had a firmer grip on things (the book), I might be able to get through more than just a chapter or two. I believe, at the time of this writing, I have 2 or three books unfinished and still pending to completion: Jazz 101 by John Szwed, The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Oates and Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill). Not that I didn’t have any interest in any of these books. On the contrary, I just didn’t have the time to finish them.  (more…)

EUREKA! I’m Back!

I know, I know! You’re thinking, Where have you been?” Chances are, you’ re probably not thinking this (nor do you care) but, as you may have already guessed, I’m going to tell you anyway but, fear not, it will be the Cliff Notes version. That beautiful thing called life reared its ugly head again, full force and the past couple of months has been somewhat of of a rollercoaster. It all started with a death…

He was a childhood friend of mine and his name was (is) Manny. He was, at the time, the 90’s, my big bro’s best friend. We met and  we all formed a memorable childhood together. I will not bore you with the details but losing him had a profound effect on me. Memories of the times spent with him flooded both my mind and emotions and it took me away from a lot, one of which was this website.

I was also being torn apart by this very, very bad job that I thought (hoped) was a move for the better but it turned out to be soul-crushing and borderline depressing. I toughed it out for as long as I could but eventually, I lost that battle. There was, however, a silver-lining to all of this. I found a new job, much closer to home and in a much friendlier work environment. I could not have asked for anything better as I am in a much better place! So, here I am, back and eager to “blog” it up, get back to my vinyl and get back to taking more pics so, STAY TUNED!

When This Baby Hits 88 MPH…

(or that time I traveled through time)

Ever since my dad took me to see the glorious 1985 hit, Back to the Future on the big screen, my fascination with the concept of time travel has been captivated. Being a five-year old kid at the time, the concept of going backwards in time made little, to no sense whatsoever to my fragile and naive little mind. In reality, I was simply enamored by the DMC DeLorean and its wonderful display of flashing lights when that sucker hit 88 miles per hour! Still, I remember getting the basic gist of what was happening: young kid gets in trouble, accidentally travels through time, meets his parents, things go bad, kid has to fix something and somehow get back to the future! That was more than enough to get me to fall in love with this gem of a film. To this day, I swear to the heavens, the hells and to its heathens that I will one day own a DeLorean… oh yes, I will own a DeLorean! And, to this day, I don’t think I’m even close to owning one. Still, that never stops me from aspiring to own one.

Thirty years have passed since that fateful day my dad took me to see the film and, since then, I probably have seen it more times than I can count on my two hands (and feet). It has lead me down that proverbial rabbit hole that has geared me towards the viewing of many other time travel films, such as: Time Bandits, The Terminator, Time Rider, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Philadelphia Experiment, Flight of the Navigator to the more recent; The Time Machine, Primer, Timecrimes, The Time Traveler’s Wife (yep, that one too), Frequency, Hot Tub Time Machine (I know), Oblivion: Edge of Tomorrow, Safety Not Guaranteed, Project Almanac, Predestination, Looper and a slew of others! Having divulged myself in these films, there was a pestering question that always came to mind – and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s asked themselves this question: What if? (more…)

RIP, My Dear Princess Leia

Say it ain’t so?! I am deeply saddened by the news of Carrie “Princess Leia” Fisher’s passing earlier today. The character is an icon in cinema history as well as a role model for young girls and women everywhere. Heck, my four year-old daughter looked up to her. A role model in that her character in Star Wars portrayed a no frills, ass-kicking, take names later – the picture of strength and compassion. Overcoming what seemed like a life plagued with trouble, she triumphed and share her story to inspire others. I never met you but you will always hold a place in my heart. Rest In Peace my dear Princess Leia.

You Want a “What” for Christmas?!

Earlier this year, Rayen asked for a stage for Christmas. My eyes widened; I broke out in a cold sweat, chills spread throughout my body like an unprecedented electric current and hives formed on my flesh. A stage? A stage?! My life flashed before my eyes! Of course, I kid.  What really came to mind was, challenge accepted!

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Wish You Were Here…

Ever since the birth of our daughter, Rayen, time alone with the wife has been rather, how should I put this, scarce.  I think I’m safe when I say that any parent can empathize with me on that one. In order to allow ourselves that much needed alone time, we have adopted a “rule” – have one family trip and one mommy/daddy trip a year. Pre-child era, we traveled some. It’s nothing to brag about but we simply liked to get away  from time to time having gone to places such as Florida, California, Quebec, Ontario, Montreal, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Paris, Barcelona, Rome – to name a few. The plan was to take an all-inclusive trip to the U.K. which would have brought us to Ireland, Scotland, and England. We searched and searched for great deals and we finally found a great package. The plan was set for later that year. Then, we got pregnant!

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False Alarm

It was a lazy day for us; we cleaned up around the house a bit, listened to music, danced, played in the backyard with our daughter and watched a movie. After the movie,  we went upstairs, climbed into bed and started to watch The Exorcist TV series by way of Hulu. Our daughter was in bed with us, watching an episode of whatever it is she watches on my iPad. Why was she even awake, you ask? I ask myself that very same question all the time. I had already watched six episodes of the TV series but, of course, my wife wanted to start watching, so, back to episode one we went. I tried to hang on to consciousness and watch along with her but I found myself dozing off.  At around 1:19 AM, I heard a noise in the near distance. I woke up with a jolt! I looked to my wife and my daughter and neither of their faces showed any semblance of worry  nor concern. I grabbed the remote control and hit the mute button where both my wife and I heard that noise that no one ever wants to wake up to, the sound of our home alarm going off!

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My “Home Theater” Project

I’ve always wanted a home theater. To have the cinematic experience right at home is a blessing: leather reclining theater seats, a wall projecting a film on a massive scale and surround sound to make your ears bleed, yes, this is what I want! And, finally, after years of dreaming up my idea of having a home entertainment room to dazzle friends and family, I have come to the forlorn conclusion that I will not have such a room. Well, not any time soon at least. But, I can still make a budget friendly (extremely friendly) home theater to entertain both family and friends as well as, more importantly, for my own enjoyment.

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Why Did The Shadow Cross The Road?

Anyone who knows me knows that I am one of the biggest skeptics out there, often fighting back the urge to roll my eyes when someone wants to tell me a “true” experience with the paranormal. To this, I usually scoff. Despite my skepticism and a recent freaky experience (click here to read that), I used to be a believer in all things paranormal and never batted an eye when someone related their story/experience to me. But, after years of nothing “happening”, lack of evidence (even while on “bonafide” ghost hunts) and just a growing interest in science and logic, ghosts and spirits became more of a thing of fairy-tales to me, mere campfire stories. True, I would like (love) to believe in the existence of ghosts but I find myself fighting that urge. It is something hard to do being that I am virtually surrounded by believers, each making their case only to be met by a counter-argument. My argument is usually simple and to the point, “Show me the evidence.” A weak argument? Yes, but effective.

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